How to Train a Rottweiler to Bark at Strangers

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Work

Introduction

Your Rottweiler is a staple member of the family. In fact, you can’t imagine what the house would look and smell like without the dog hair and slobber anymore. Not that you’d change it for the world anyway, because your Rottie is the only member of the house who doesn’t argue back! However, while they can do no wrong in your eyes, you do want to put your Rottweiler to good use. In particular, you’d like to train them to keep watch of the house and bark at strangers.

If you need a guard dog and understandably want to keep your house, family, and possessions safe, then a Rottweiler can be an effective deterrent. Combine their menacing bark with their tough exterior and any intruder is bound to think twice. This training will also instill significant discipline, giving you a well-trained and obedient dog. Lastly, this training will also help you train them to bark and fall silent with just a command.

Defining Tasks

Training a Rottweiler to bark is actually pretty straightforward. The trick is finding a situation that naturally causes them to bark. Once you’ve found that, you’ll need to introduce a command and reinforce the training with tasty treats or toys. Socialization will also form an important part of training as you don’t want your dog becoming aggressive. Training will also require testing the new command with some brave volunteers.

If your Rottweiler is just a puppy, they should soak up any and all information. This means you could see results in just a week or two. However, if he is older and more interested in lazing around the house than learning new commands then you may have your work cut out. It could be six weeks before you see consistent results. But if training works you’ll have a formidable-sounding Rottweiler who will keep strangers at bay.

Getting Started

The best thing about this training is that you don’t need much to get started. Some friends your Rottweiler doesn’t know too well will be needed. You will also need a decent stockpile of mouth-watering treats or toys. You’ll also need a clicker for one of the methods below.

Set aside around 10 minutes each day for training in a yard or in a large room in the house. The more frequently you train, the sooner you will see results.

Once you’ve ticked all those boxes, just bring enthusiasm and patience, then work can begin!

The Trigger Method

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Step
1
Monitor
Spend a couple of days closely watching your Rottweiler. You’re looking for situations in which they bark of their own accord. When they are excited to go out for a walk or for food, for example.
Step
2
‘Bark’
Once you’ve found such a situation, put you dog in it and give a ‘bark’ command just before or as they start to bark. Give it only once as you want them to know they have to respond the first time. Try to give the instruction in a playful tone.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as your Rottweiler does then bark, hand over a delicious reward. You can also shower them in verbal praise. If you use a clicker when you train, click within a couple of seconds of them barking.
Step
4
Test
Now secure your dog to a leash and have a friend or someone they don’t know too well approach. Once they get close, point at the stranger and give the ‘bark’ instruction. Don’t worry if it takes a little while for them to catch on to start with. Once they do bark, hand over another reward.
Step
5
Mix it up
Now all that’s left to do is practice the new command. You’ll need to have different people approach each time, otherwise your Rottweiler will start barking at people they do know. Before you know it they will bark at strangers all of their own accord. At this point you can phase out the rewards.
Recommend training method?

The Attention Method

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Step
1
Obedience classes
The first thing you need to make sure is that your Rottweiler isn’t going to bark and be aggressive towards everyone. So take them to group obedience classes so they learn to socialize with other people and pets.
Step
2
Draw their attention
Have someone your dog doesn’t know slowly approach. Then stand next to your Rottweiler and point at the stranger. You can also whisper and do everything you can to draw their attention to them. This is the most time-consuming part so don’t be put off if it takes a little while to peak your pup's interest.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as they do bark, be sure to quickly shower them in praise. You can also throw them a tasty treat and play around with a toy for a little while. The happier the dog feels afterwards, the more likely it is they will repeat the behavior.
Step
4
Practice
Now you simply need to regularly repeat the above steps. Try and use different people each time and practice at least a few times each week. As they improve they’ll naturally take an interest in strangers and bark of their own accord.
Step
5
Lose the treats
After a couple of weeks of consistent results, you can gradually phase out the rewards. By this point your Rottweiler will be in the habit of barking at strangers and will no longer need extra motivation to do so.
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The Setup Method

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Step
1
Frustration
To encourage your Rottweiler to bark so you can incorporate a verbal cue, you may need to get them worked up. So tether them to a chair and then call their name from another room. They’ll quickly get wound up and bark in frustration.
Step
2
Praise
As soon as they do bark, rush back into the room and give a ‘good speak’ command. You can then give them some verbal praise and a treat or two. Really emphasize they have done something correctly, even if they’re not sure what yet.
Step
3
Give the command first
Practice this for around 10 minutes a day to start with. Keeping sessions short will ensure your Rottweiler concentrates and doesn’t get bored. But as you practice start giving the command in normal situations without winding them up.
Step
4
Bump into a friend
Once you’ve practiced enough that your dog barks as soon as they hear the instruction, then it’s time to test them with a stranger. Arrange a walk with someone the dog doesn’t know too well and bump into them half way around. Point towards the friend and give the bark instruction.
Step
5
Reward
As soon as your dog barks, go down and give them some praise. If you use a clicker, now is the time to click too. Organize situations with friends like this regularly and before you know it your dog will automatically bark at anyone they don’t know. When they get to this stage, phase out the rewards and praise.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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